Mammary Gland Tumors/Cancer and Surgery

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Mammary Gland Tumors/Cancer and Surgery

Postby Curly_07 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:03 pm

So, I took Lady Bug to the vet today for yet ANOTHER urinary bacterial infection. She has these about every 3-6 months. I have her on Cranberry extract and 500 ml grams of Vitamin C daily, but if I fail to give it to her for one day because I run out or whatever, she gets the infections and has to go on an antibiotic. We've had ultrasounds done, cultures, you name it, we've done it. So, she is back on an antibiotic (Clavamox - sp?) for the next 2 weeks.

I say all of that because while there, the vet was looking her over and has found some sand grain feeling knots in her breasts around the nipple areas. They are in all breasts but 3. One of the knots under the skin is much larger than the others to the touch. The vet spoke with me about them and stated she believes they are mammary gland cancers/tumors. She wants to do an X-ray of her lungs and go from there after Lady Bug has finished her antibiotics for the UTI. She (the vet) informed me that she wasn't that familiar with them, and wouldn't be doing the procedure if I chose that route, but another vet that works there is and would. I'm supposed to sit down with him in 2 weeks to go over things. Until then, I was hoping you guys could help me out with some info on Mammary Glands, tumors/cancer, etc.

Have have read this to help me get an idea of what this all is, but more info would be great! http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/mammary-glan ... rs-in-dogs" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Some info on Lady Bug:
10 yrs old
Been bred many times before I got her and foster-failed
Spayed at 8 yrs old
She was obese when I got her (105 lbs)
Has chronic UTI problems!
Has had skin tags and one tumor removed, all non cancerous.
Has lost wieght in the last 2 months that I'm not comfy with ~10 lbs. She is currently 64 lbs, when her normal healthy weight is 72-75 lbs. She isn't looking healthy to me, but she is more active than ever! :huh?:
I've upped her food by an extra cup in the AM and PM, but no changes in weight yet. The vet wants to weigh her again in a week, and once a week from now on until we see a change.
She has slight cataracts (foggy eyes).
She didn't do well the last procedure coming out of anesthesia, but the vet said we could try a different one where they come out fast from it.
She had a slight murmur when I first started to foster her, but it has been gone/non-existant for the last year. Could this have been due to the obesity?

At what point should I not go through with a surgery? If it's spread to the lungs/organs? That's what I'm understanding, but not sure if I'm misunderstanding what I'm reading.
Is $2500 for the procedure rediculous, or is does that seem reasonable? I don't have that kind of money laying around, and I've already spent about $3k on her this past year. I would have to pull out another personal loan to pay for this... The cost wouldn't keep me from doing the procedure though, I just want to be sure that if we go through with this she will be here much longer and that this is what is best for her.

The only thing good I can see in all of this is that if we choose to do this procedure, she will finally be getting a much needed boob job! I'm so tired of people asking me if I breed her and if I have pups for sale. lol Joking aside though, I'm worried sick about my ol girl.

Anybody have experience with this? Enigma, was it you and Brina that went through this?
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Re: Mammary Gland Tumors/Cancer and Surgery

Postby pipersmom » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:33 pm

I have no advice for you but just wanted to say I will keep Lady Bug in my prayers. :hug:
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Re: Mammary Gland Tumors/Cancer and Surgery

Postby Curly_07 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:03 pm

Thank you! She's been wearing that lovely sweater often when we go out to hide her spine and ribs that have started to show. I can't help but feel like I'm doing something wrong to cause this. I don't understand the weight loss or why such a good dog has to have so many health problems.

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Re: Mammary Gland Tumors/Cancer and Surgery

Postby Nickdawg » Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:11 pm

:hug: I'm SO sorry - you are not doing anything wrong, just trying to deal with multiple health issues caused by the crap owners in her past!

Having gone through cancer with my boy (bone) I suggest a one thing at a time approach - find out the degree of things via the lung xray etc. and then go from there...

Check out this site
http://www.helpyourdogfightcancer.com/Support.shtml" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

online support group
http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/CanineCancer/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Mammary Gland Tumors/Cancer and Surgery

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:40 pm

Oh Curly I'm sorry! How stressful!

But. From my memory and my experience working in clinics. Mammary cancer in dogs is usually not malignant if I'm not mistaken (more than half of all cases involve benign tumors) and removing the lumps is often curative.

We have done several while I've worked at this clinic, all we're benign. In one case we had to remove an entire mammary chain, at the same time as doing a pyo-spay and the dog is still doing great 3 years later (she was nine at the time!).

I would do your research, never be afraid to seek a second opinion, and try not to worry. As long as she has you, she is in good hands.
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Re: Mammary Gland Tumors/Cancer and Surgery

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:42 pm

Also, $2500 sounds high to me if that's just the lumpectomy procedure itself. If it includes all initial diagnostics, then that could be reasonable.
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Re: Mammary Gland Tumors/Cancer and Surgery

Postby Curly_07 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:54 pm

Thanks for the info and encouraging words ladies! The vet said she would want to remove all of the mammary glands as well as the lymphnodes(?). 2500$ is for the whole procedure, minus the x-rays and exam prior to surgery.
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Re: Mammary Gland Tumors/Cancer and Surgery

Postby Enigma » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:21 pm

Curly_07 wrote:Enigma, was it you and Brina that went through this?
Sorry for not writing something sooner, I just saw this. Yes Brina had all of her mammary glands removed, she had a couple of tumors in them, but they all turned out to be benign. I can't say anything about the price, because you have much higher prices in the US than we have here in my country, I payed about half of that for Brina, but they spayed her at the same time and it was two surgeries, not just one. As far as I know mammary gland tumors tend to grow back even if you remove them, that's probably why the vet wants to remove all of her mammary glands along with the lymphnodes. I'm no expert so you could probably get a better advice from somebody who works in the vet field... But I would x-ray her lungs first to see if anything spread there and if it didn't I would go ahead with the surgery if it would improve the quality of her life.

Brina had half of her mammary glands removed in her fist surgery, along with a spay. That one was tough on her, but I think it was mostly because of her spay, they had to remove her whole uterus. The second surgery where they just removed the other half of her mammary glands was a breeze, Brina was up and running the next day.

Afterer fist surgery:
Image

And after her second surgery:
Image

I've been dealing with the same thing right now, to put a 10 year old dog through more surgeries or not? But after the second cancer scare we've had last month I've decided I will keep removing every suspicious lump if any of them will grow back as long as Brina will be healthy otherwise (good blood panel results, good overall contidion, etc.). If that means I will get to have her with me longer, I'm all for it :)

Good luck and keep us updated! If you have anymore questions you can always ask :thumbsup:
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Re: Mammary Gland Tumors/Cancer and Surgery

Postby Leslie H » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:03 pm

sending well wishes to Lady Bug.
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Re: Mammary Gland Tumors/Cancer and Surgery

Postby Curly_07 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:44 am

Thank you Enigma and Leslie!

So, my roommate is a vet tech at a different vet office than I use. I don't know why, but I didn't think of it until yesterday to talk with her about this all. :aha: She's very familiar with the procedures, and their clinic does these procedures regularly from referals. She is trying to get me a price with the discount they give her for the dogs she fosters with them. *Hopefully* it will be cheaper than what my normal vet quoted, as my vet price doesn't include post op stuff, and her office does a set price for everything from the X-rays to the post op final followup. **fingers crossed**
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Re: Mammary Gland Tumors/Cancer and Surgery

Postby Misskiwi67 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:59 pm

A full chain mastectomy is a BIG surgery, it can take a couple hours. I would say $2500 is a good high-end estimate for a single-chain mastectomy, and overnight care on pain medications. If your hospital does not have 24 hour monitoring, I would try to find a place that does, because this is a painful procedure, and I would want my dog on pain medications like you would see with an orthopedic procedure after this surgery. After the first 24 hours, they do really well and don't need much more after that.

If your dog had just one lump removed and not the whole chain, then I would expect costs more in the $500 range, plus x-rays.

1 in 4 dogs spayed after their second heat cycle will develop mammary cancer. 50% of these tumors are cancerous, and the other 50% are benign. If your dog has multiple lumps, I would get them removed as soon as possible and hope your vet caught it before it spread. This is the #1 reason why we recommend early spay in female dogs.

Here's a link to a handout on mammary tumors in dogs:
http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Conten ... C=0&A=1350
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